Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to return the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas popularly called cooking gas to how he met it in May 2015 when he assumed office.
National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, made this known in a chat with The PUNCH on Saturday.
According to Onwubiko, Nigerians have nothing to jubilate or rejoice over about the recent marginal drop in the cost of cooking gas.
According to PUNCH findings, the price of 12.5kg LPG has dropped from N8,800 to between N8400 and N8200. In some outlets, the price of the commodity dropped to between N7,800 and N8,000 as of Thursday.
The product had increased by 240 per cent for 12.5kg, moving up from N3,000 to N10,200 within the first 10 months of 2021.
The development forced some LPG users to shift to charcoal or firewood, as consumers of the commodity raised the alarm over the persistent hike in its price.
The Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, Office of the Vice President, Dayo Adeshina, had said the Federal Government was putting measures in place to ensure further reduction in the cost of cooking gas.
However, in a chat with our correspondent on Saturday, the HURIWA coordinator said the marginal reduction (less than N1,000) in the price of cooking gas is not substantial.
Onwubiko said, “The failure of the relevant governmental bodies to regulate the pricing of gas assets in Nigeria is a recipe for encouraging the ballooning poverty situations that we have witnessed since 2015 that President Muhammadu Buhari has operated economic policy frameworks devoid of progressive mechanisms.
“Government lacks the requisite political will, sincerity of purpose and commitments to do the needful to ensure that millions of homes in Nigeria are not subjected to economic ordeals just so they can get gas to power the preparations of their foods and other essential services domestically and otherwise.
“High costs of gas has led to the closure of many restaurants and small businesses thereby increasing unemployment rates in Nigeria. The high cost of gas has affected the green environment and this shows that this government is hypocritical when it mouths her readiness to take remedial steps to halt the consequences of climate change.
“All those international trips costing the taxpayers billions of naira by the President and retinue of ministers to attend climate change-related global summits without taking local steps to check unaffordable costs of gas resources in Nigeria is cosmetic and hypocritical.”
When asked whether it would be better for Buhari to return the price of cooking gas to what it was in 2015, Onwubiko said, “Yes, but this government is unrepentantly incompetent.”
“The government derives satisfaction in imposing outrageous and satanic economic policies on Nigerians. This is even why the government has decided to tax us more for drinking soft drinks even when wives of politically exposed officials buy champagnes and expensive wines at public costs for their own enjoyment in their cocoons,” he added.